Most Americans anywhere in the country face some type of unpleasant winter weather. So, when spring and summer roll around we welcome it with open arms – open eyes are another matter altogether! We throw wide our doors and windows to let in the sunshine and fresh air. The problem is that all too often we are inviting invisible pollutants in as well.
Though the purpose of this blog is to keep the reader informed about eye care a brief word about ozone is necessary at this point. Ozone in the atmosphere shields us from the sun’s harmful rays. However, when it occurs near the earth’s surface it has been created artificially and usually from a combination of boilers, chemical plants, refineries and similar industries. This type of ozone negatively affects air quality and your health.
Included in the morning weather report you can now expect to receive an ‘air quality’ report – especially in the summer months when ozone levels tend to spike, and the outcome may be an assault on your lungs and eyes. These are the two parts of your body that are most vulnerable to the negative effects of air pollution. The range of symptoms can be mild to chronic. It usually depends on the amount of pollution in the air – the more pollution the more impact it can have on your sight. It can be especially noticeable if you are wearing contact lenses.
While we should all be doing our part to help curb air pollution, the more immediate issue is how to curb the consequences to your eyes. All of a sudden ‘air quality’ directly affects ‘quality of life’. For example, if you wear contact lenses, the air pollutants may make it difficult to keep them in and you may have to revert to wearing glasses instead. Many Americans consider their contact lenses almost like a second skin and are not happy to be unable to wear them even for a short amount of time.
If the air quality is wreaking havoc with your eyes, contact your optometrist. They will be able to work with you to create positive and effective interventions such as rewetting drops or 1-day contact lenses.
The professional staff of Island Eyecare are able to offer expert advice and support for those suffering from air quality issues.